Namibian Women Win Bronze

NAMIBIA’s U18 women’s hockey team won a bronze medal at the African Youth Olympic Qualifiers in Lusaka, Zambia after beating Zimbabwe 6-2 on Saturday.

Namibia’s men’s team however missed out on a medal, and finished fourth after losing 5-4 to Kenya in the third-place playoff.

The women gave a great comeback against Zimbabwe, after a heartbreaking defeat in their final group match against Zambia the previous day.

Namibia led 4-0 midway through the match, but Zambia staged a great comeback to win the match 5-4 to qualify for the final against South Africa.

That defeat meant that Namibia finished third in the group and missed out on a chance of reaching the final and one of two guaranteed spots for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in July.

Namibia had a great start against Zambia and took a 2-0 lead after goals by Carla Brits and Phia Gerber at the end of the first period.

Namibia continued to attack in the second period and further goals by Brits and Bernice Brink put them 4-0 ahead.

Zambia however made a terrific comeback and pulled two goals back before the end of the second period.

In the third and final period, Zambia finished ger scoring three unanswered goals to post a dramatic 5-4 victory which booked their place in the final against South Africa.

Namibia pushed hard for the equaliser and created three great chances in the final minutes, but they all went narrowly wide.

According to the Namibian coach Shayne Cormack, the Namibian women were devastated by the defeat.

“When the final whistle went, all the girls fell to the ground – Zambia and Namibia – and the tears were flowing from everywhere. But Namibia’s sacrifice was Zambia’s gain, they played just as well and fought just as hard,” she said.

“When I shook hands with the Zambian coach I realised that he also had a dream and a goal and it was a humbling experience. Our girls did not underestimate Zambia and they started the game as equals,” she added.

On Saturday, Namibia however came back rejuvenated to score a convincing 6-2 victory against Zimbabwe and win the bronze medal.

Two goals by Carla Brits gave Namibia a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period, before the game was sealed in the second period. Brits scored her third while Dunelle van Taak also scored three goals as Namibia raced into a 6-1 lead. In the final period Zimbabwe added one more goal but Namibia held on for a comfortable victory to take the bronze medal.

Namibia’s boys team finished fourth after losing 5-4 to Kenya in the bronze medal playoff match on Saturday.

Kenya took a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period with Ernest Jacobs opening Namibia’s account, but Namibia drew level at 2-all through a goal by Armando van Wyk in the second period.

In a frenetic final period, Namibia came from behind twice to hold Kenya at 4-4 with Jacobs scoring both goals, but Kenya had the final say when they scored the winning goal to win the match 5-4.

On Friday, Namibia lost 5-4 to Zambia to narrowly miss out on a place in the final. Zambia took a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period, but Namibia drew level at 3-3 at the end of the second.

In a tense final period, Zambia once again took the lead, with Namibia equalising before Zambia got the winning goal in the closing stages.

Namibia’s scorers were Dylan Alexander, Breda Reed, Armando van Wyk and Ernest Jacobs.

Source : The Namibian